“An officer of a St. George bank was arrested Friday morning as part of a federal criminal indictment involving the processing of illegal online gambling payments, a case that also involves prominent Utah businessman and philanthropist Jeremy Johnson.” (See previous posts).
“John Campos, vice chairman of the board and part-owner of SunFirst Bank, was arrested in St. George and is to appear Monday before a federal magistrate there.
Campos was alleged to have made a deal with a processor for two of the three largest online poker companies to use the bank to accept payment from gamblers in exchange for a $10 million investment in SunFirst and a $20,000 bonus to him for consulting services.
Arrested in Las Vegas was Chad Elie, a businessman with ties to Johnson.”
“Arrested in Las Vegas was Chad Elie, a businessman with ties to Johnson. Johnson was not named in the indictment but in documents in another case, Elie said Johnson approached him in 2009 and said he had a trusted relationship with SunFirst Bank that they could use to process payments on behalf of Elie’s clients, who the indictment says were online poker companies.”
“A 2006 law makes it a federal crime for gambling businesses to knowingly accept most forms of payment for illegal Internet gambling. Because of the law, Internet gambling companies that are located overseas concocted various schemes to use separate processing companies to hide the purpose of the payments from U.S. customers, the indictment says.”
I can’t say that merchant accounts were used to facilitate this. But, if they were, what pressure was put on merchant underwriters to go along?
On a personal note, it reminds me of the 5 Million dollar Compass Bank debacle wherein insider Johnny Harper opened the doors to numerous merchants who were processing fraud transactions.